Robert G. “Bob” Cree was born on September 17, 1948, in Logansport, Indiana, to R.G. and Gail Cree. He graduated from Pioneer High School in 1966 and attended Lincoln Christian College, where he met his wife, Catherine “Cathy” Blackhurst. Bob and Cathy were married on May 1, 1971, in Kenny, Illinois. After college, Bob entered the ministry and served churches in southern Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana for nearly five decades. When he returned to his hometown of Lucerne, Indiana, he began working for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural carrier, servicing the Lucerne and Twelve Mile areas for 33 years before his retirement.
For 43 years, Bob was a proud firefighter and EMT for the Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Department in Lucerne. He served as the department secretary and treasurer for a number of those years and was a member of the Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association.
On the evening of November 22, 2020, Bob and members of the Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Department responded to a medical emergency. Just moments after returning home from the call, he collapsed from an apparent heart attack. The same emergency personnel Bob had responded with earlier, his dear friends, responded to his home and rendered aid. Despite their efforts, Bob went home to be with his Lord and Savior.
Bob and Cathy were married for nearly 50 years, building a life based on ministry, family, and service. Together, they raised two children, Robert (Julie) Cree of Remington, Indiana, and Carla (Corey) Gillespie of Brownsburg, Indiana. They were blessed with five grandchildren, Justin and Jordan Cree and Emalee, Mackenzie, and Owen Gillespie. Having grown up across the street from the fire department, Bob’s son, Robert, was a certified EMT before his high school graduation and is now a career firefighter/paramedic with the Valparaiso (Indiana) Fire Department.
Bob loved his community, and he did not know a stranger. Whether loving those he served in a local church, sharing life with families on his mail route, mentoring and encouraging his peers on the fire department, or just passing people he knew in the community, Bob lived out his life calling as a minister of grace and truth to those who needed encouragement or a helping hand. Bob will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and community, but we are so grateful for the legacy he has left for us to build upon.